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Eritrea was awarded to Ethiopia in 1952 as part of a federation. Ethiopia's annexation of Eritrea as a province 10 years later sparked a 30-year struggle for independence that ended in 1991 with Eritrean rebels defeating governmental forces; independence was overwhelmingly approved in a 1993 referendum. A two-and-a-half-year border war with Ethiopia that erupted in 1998 ended under UN auspices in December 2000. Eritrea currently hosts a UN peacekeeping operation that is monitoring a 25 km-wide Temporary Security Zone on the border with Ethiopia. An international commission, organized to resolve the border dispute, posted its findings in 2002. However, both parties have been unable to reach agreement on implementing the decision. In November 2006, the international commission informed Eritrea and Ethiopia they had one year to demarcate the border or the border demarcation would be based on coordinates.

Languages & Population

Approximate Population: 4,906,585 (July 2007 est.)

Nationality (Noun): Eritrean(s)

Nationality (Adjective): Eritrean

Official Language(s): Arabic

Major Languages Spoken: Arabic, Tigrigna, Afar

Map of Eritrea

Country Facts

Country Name (long form): State of Eritrea

Country Name (short form): Eritrea

Country Name (local long form): Hagere Ertra

Country Name (local short form): Ertra

Name of Capital: Asmara (Asmera)

UTC Time Difference (from capital): UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Countries Near by, and Bordering Eritrea: Sudan, Djibouti, Ethiopia

Land Area: 121320 sq km

Comparative Area: slightly larger than Pennsylvania

Total Land Boundry: 1,626 km

Coastline: 2,234 km

National Holiday: Independence Day, 24 May (1993)

International Phone Code: 291

Currency Code: nakfa (ERN)

Internet Country Code: .er

US Embassy Location: 179 Alaa Street, Asmara

US Embassy Mailing Address: P. O. Box 211, Asmara


Eritrea flag

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